RIM just announced that they are opening up their BBM Social Platform so developers can leverage BBM accounts within their applications. The release allows developers to access BBM info like like their avatar and username, as well as create “areas within the user’s profile for promoting recent application activity or storing trophies or achievements.” This is a sign that while RIM may be investigating Android, they’re also getting smarter about BBM.
The release at this point is targeted at developers, and the entire list of features is given below:
“With this beta release, Java developers have access to APIs and features that allow them to build important functions into their applications. They are user permission based and include accessing and updating fields in the user’s profile, creating custom areas within the user’s profile, initiating and embedding chats with friends, initiating file transfers, sharing applications virally with friends in their contact list.”
They go on to mention that they’re planning to bring the BBM user to a whole range of applicatoins, including “multimedia, gaming, location-based services(LBS), VoIP, video and commerce.” It seems, so far, that RIM has been patiently taking steps towards social, and in all honesty that may work in their benefit. BBM users are a loyal bunch, and if RIM works hard to ensure that developers create solid applications on top of the BBM user, this could be a hit.
However, if only a smattering of developers use the BBM, and the applications are lackluster, RIM could be shooting their own BBM – the pride of many non-business Blackberry users – in the foot.
This news comes soon after it was suggested that BBM will be shared with other devices, and not too far after RIM acquired Gist. It’s obvious that social is becoming more and more important to Blackberry, so we’ll be keeping an eye on them.